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Sen. Nelson: Russian hackers already have ‘free rein’ over some US voting machines

Voting machines set up, taking people to their ballots during the 2016 presidential election in Las Vegas.

(REUTERS/David Becker, file)

Voting machines in at least one U.S. state has already been compromised by Russian agents before the midterm elections, Florida democratic senator warned.

According to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, Sen., Bill Nelson claimed that the Russians “have already certain counties invaded in the state, and you now have a clear path to move.”

Nelson’s office has yet to respond to a request for comment.

In the times reports, Nelson said that he and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco Rubio, were asked to let the leaders of the Intelligence Committee volunteers in your state know ” that the Russians in their records.”

Florida Democratic sen. Bill Nelson said on Wednesday that Russia has invaded, several of its state voter registration systems exams before the year 2018.

“This is added no fool of time,” Nelson said.

Rubio’s office would not comment on the matter, but the said two county officials have confirmed Nelson’s observations.

Nelson and Rubio, an intelligence Committee member, wrote to election officials back in July warning about the possible dangers to the choice of apparatus. Nelson and Rubio suggested that 2018 would be the year that the demand for “more awareness of cyber-threats” and encouraged state officials to take advantage of the “wide range of services” provided by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for protection against such intruders.

“County election Board should not be expected to stand alone against a hostile foreign government,” Nelson and Rubio argues, noting that “our decentralized system is a strength, but it also means the responsibility is to ensure each and every one of us be sure of our location.”

Nelson told reporters on Wednesday that the Russians in the hope, “to sow chaos in our democratic institutions”, a term that was repeated by both President Trump and U.S. intelligence officials.

Last week, top Cabinet officials doubled down on what they as a permanent and “ever-present” threat from Russia.

“Democracy itself is in the crosshairs,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

THE OFFICIALS SOUND ALARM ON RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE, VOW TO FIGHT BACK: DEMOCRACY IS ‘IN THE CROSSHAIRS’

During the 2016 presidential elections, DHS “saw a targeting 21 States and an exceptionally small number of them have actually been successfully penetrated”, so cybersecurity official Jeanette Manfra.

She added that there is “no doubt” that the Russian government is behind the attacks.

Manfra the comments came after the former Secretary of state Rex Tillerson told Fox News at the beginning of February, to interfere with that Russia has already been tried “in the United States in 2018.”

“I think it is important that we continue to say to Russia, ” Look, you don’t think that we can see what you’re doing. We see it, and you need to stop. If you don’t, just go ahead to download consequences for themselves,'” Tillerson said.

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